City commissioners in Arkansas City, Kansas are trying to decide whether to proceed with construction of a multipurpose hike-and-bike path along the Arkansas River levee.
According to an article in the Arkansas City Traveler:
The project has been in the works for years, but some commissioners have questioned the wisdom of proceeding even with a state grant and money available to pay for the project. The hike-and-bike project is in motion, so the city doesn’t have to do anything for it to proceed. However the city could put the brakes on if it decided it did not want to finish the project.
City Chief of Administration Steve Archer said that all the property has been acquired for the project, and that it is currently in the design phase. The design phase is to be completed by the end of March and construction could begin this fall.
Commisioners are divided about the trail, with some believing that it should not be completed even if the city has the money, and others seeing it as a quality-of-life issue that has the potential to spur economic development, open up the river for more recreational use, and attract people to the city.
The levee trail is the first section of a trail system that is ultimately intended to circle the entire city. The majority of the money for the project is being provided by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation,